The Zipping Zephyr that is Alpha-Point Gold

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I now have a Facebook page devoted solely to this blog.  Go to my new Flying Here in The Middle Facebook page and give it a ‘Like’.

I’m not a huge fan of unnecessary meetings and training sessions.  Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of necessary meetings and training sessions either, but I accept them as one of those professional evils that come with a paycheck.  The things that you are expected to attend and do so in order for the company to give you money in return.  Like recycling or sitting next to your boss in adjoining bathroom stalls.

Most meetings are quick and fairly painless.  But then there are those where people just go on and on about a whole lot of nothing.  They blather and blither and point out things that everyone already knew before they walked their tired butts into the room and plopped said tired butts into the uncomfortable faux-leather chairs.  Worse yet, they subject you to a litany of PowerPoint slides they read verbatim from the slides that they put all of about 3 minutes of thought into.

See?  I REALLY don’t like meetings.

So some time ago I made up a game.  This game was meant to pass the time…but more accurately it was designed to keep me awake while the above blitherer/blatherer rattled on and on.  The game requirements follow:

–          Complete lack of interest in the subject matter being presented (easy to find)


–          A PowerPoint slide that for some reason has words on it than this blog (easy to find)


–          Monotone speaker reading above said words (easy to find)

That’s all you need and you’re ready to play “The Alpha-Point Game”!  Congratulations!  Or, more properly – I feel horrible that you’re sitting in the same meeting as me!

Rules are simple.  On one slide, see if you can find every letter of the alphabet in order.  That’s it.  I didn’t say I was a brilliant game-maker.  I just said I had to keep myself awake.  And it’s remarkably hard to win.  Unless you’re attending a meeting on how to recite the alphabet, of course.  But in all my years of playing Alpha-Point, I have NEVER found a slide that had all of the letters in the alphabet on it.  Not a single time.  All but one of the letters?  Yes.  Never all.

Until yesterday.  Kind of. Pending…


Rabid Monkey

I was sitting in a typical training session and all of the above Alpha-Point requirements had been met.  I was analyzing each slide as it came for the letters – with the normal results.  And then came Slide 17.  It was THE slide.  The one that I had been waiting my entire life for.  I want to say that when the slide came up there was a triumphant trumpet blast announcing the slide – but that may have been just in my head.

I saw the slide and immediately knew that Alpha-Point Gold was a possibility.  I scanned first for the mandatory J and Q to ensure that they were there in the first place and saw John and SQL.  My heart started thumping.  Time to go back to A and get this puppy started.

I was flying through it.  A-J took a matter of seconds.  Then K.  Truth be told, I spent WAY too long on K – and that may have been my downfall.  I finally spied the word ‘ranking’ buried deep in the 500 words on the slide.  L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U flew by like a gang of sparrows chasing a rabid monkey.  Now I was in the homestretch and he was only finished reading about half of the slide.  WOULD THIS BE THE TIME!?!?!?!

V down, W down, X down (I had seen it earlier in my search for the elusive K) and Y quickly followed.  I was almost dizzy with excitement and my vision was blurring.  But I took a deep breath, forced myself to calm down and began the search for the mandatory (on a slide like this) reference to a hazard or an upcoming quiz or a business-like zenith.  Nothing.  My heart started to thump out of my chest and I had to quickly come up with a game plan for victory.  There is NO doubt that if I found this Z I would let out an embarrassing scream in the middle of the quiet room – and I could care less.

I started going word for word and then it happened.  This boring, monotone speaker said and I quote:

“I’m just going to skip these last 43 (random embellishment added by your author) bullet points and move to the next slide so you don’t get bored….”

I stood up and screamed, “NOOOOOOOO!” and flung my iPad at the PowerPoint projector.  I ran down the aisle at the presenter and tackled him, wrestling the PowerPoint controller from his gnarly old fingers before a single twitch could change the slide…

No I didn’t.

I just sat there stunned.  There was nothing TO do.  The rest of the meeting passed by in a blur of letters and monotone.  I had blown possibly my one and only chance at Alpha-Point Gold.  There was only one thing I could think of to do.  And I did it this morning.  The worst possible thing I could ever do.

I had to email the presenter and ask for a copy of his slides.  I had to feign interest in the subject matter.  All for the love of the Gold.  I’m not proud of this – but I’ll let you know if there was a Z.

I now have a Facebook page devoted solely to this blog.  Go to my new Flying Here in The Middle Facebook page and give it a ‘Like’.

  1. Christine says:

    From now on, you are uninvited to any meeting I have….unless of course we are meeting for lunch.


  2. Michelle says:

    THIS is hilarious. And I feel your pain. I’m going to be playing this game in the future. I don’t know if I should thank you or put a curse on you.


  3. […] to participate in any way, shape or form. This is not a new occurrence, as can be found in an earlier blog written to alleviate the boredom of a normal meeting. So while idly biding my time waiting for Speaker A to wind down from his […]


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